I found myself dawdling as I got near the end of Black Swan Rising, because I didn’t want to reach the end.
The broad strokes of Garet James’ story follow a familiar template (make allies/learn skills/face a rising evil) but the details feel surprisingly fresh. The husband-and-wife authorial team (Carol Goodman/Lee Slonimksy) offer a take on the fantastic in the modern world that draws on a number of mythic and literary traditions (the most similar recent fantasy I’ve read would be L. Jagi Lamplighter’s books about Prospero’s daughter, but Lee Carroll’s pacing is leaner and the protagonist is more congenial). Several of the New York environs are so vividly realized that I really want to visit them. The novel wraps up its primary conflict satisfactorily, and leaves a few plot threads unraveled for a sequel, which, for once, I’m really glad about.
needs more demons? no.